Life Day 24141: No Joke

August 16, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Friday, August 16, 2013.
Good morning humor lovers. The first holiday today is Tell a Joke Day. Through this year, we have had numerous humor related holidays including “Presidential Joke Day” earlier this week, and “Tell an Old Joke Day” just last month. Tell a Joke Day differs from these holidays in that the subject matter and age of the joke are irrelevant. This holiday encourages one to tell some jokes, and listen to a few as well. After all, a joke isn’t a joke unless it makes someone laugh. I’ve previously recounted some of the health benefits of laughter, so I won’t rehash that subject. If you’re not particularly adept at telling jokes, you can always just pass on a few humorous emails to your friends.
An elderly man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.” “Pop, what are you talking about,” the son yells. The old man says.”We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer. We’re sick and tired of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.” And he hangs up. Frantic, the son calls his sister, who was equally agitated on the phone. “Like heck they’re getting a divorce,” she shouts. “I’ll take care of this.” She calls Phoenix immediately and yells at her dad, “You are NOT getting divorced! Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then don’t do a thing, do you hear me?” And she hangs up. The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife with a sly smile and says; “Sweetie, the kids are coming home for Christmas and paying their own way.”
If that doesn’t work for you, try this one:
http://straycat.us/wp1/2005/07/09/sign-of-the-times/.
There, I’ve done my part. Feel free to send me your jokes to celebrate this holiday.

The other holiday today is National Airborne Day. National Airborne Day marks the anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Army Parachute Test Platoon; the forerunner to the Airborne units of today. On this date in 1940, the 48 brave volunteer members of this Platoon pioneered a new method of warfare. Their successful jump led to the creation of a mighty force of more than 100,000 paratroopers. Members of this force were assigned to the legendary 11th, 13th, 17th, 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions and numerous other units that fought in every theater during World War II.
The soldiers of the Parachute Test Platoon also forged a unique warrior spirit, a relentless passion for victory, and a reputation that still strikes fear in potential adversaries. Beginning with the first combat jump by the men of the 2d Battalion, 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, over North Africa in November 1942, airborne and special operations soldiers have made a total of 93 combat jumps. Since World War II, paratroopers have continually distinguished themselves in battle, earning 69 Congressional Medals of Honor and hundreds of other awards for valor.
On August 9th, 2001, President George W. Bush proclaimed August 16th as National Airborne Day.

The food-related holiday today is Bratwurst Day. Bratwurst is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork or beef. The name is derived from Old High German Brätwurst, from Brät; meaning finely chopped meat, and Wurst, or sausage. Though the brat in bratwurst described the way the sausages are made, nowadays Germans associate it with the German verb “braten”, which means to pan fry or roast. Bratwurst is usually grilled or pan fried, but sometimes cooked in broth.
The first documented evidence of the Bratwurst in Germany dates back to 1313, and can be found in the Franconian city of Nuremberg, which is still an internationally renowned center for the production of sausages.
Recipes for Bratwurst vary by region and even locality; some sources list over 40 different varieties of German bratwurst. In Germany, they are regarded as snack food, and are generally served with or in a Brötchen (a white bread roll made from wheat flour) and eaten with hot German mustard. It is often accompanied by sauerkraut or potato salad.
In America, Bratwurst is a common type of sausage; especially in the state of Wisconsin, where the largest ethnic group is German. It is a common sight at summer cookouts, alongside the more famous hot dog. Wisconsin is also known as the originator of the “beer brat”, a regional favorite where the bratwurst are poached in beer (generally a mixture of a pilsner style beer with butter and onions) prior to grilling over charcoal. The bratwurst was popularized in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin in the 1920s. In general, each local butcher shop would take orders and hand make bratwurst fresh to be picked up on a particular day. The fat content of the sausages was substantial, making daily pick up necessary to avoid spoilage. Some of the fat is removed as a result of the cooking over charcoal.
The bratwurst (or “brat”) also became popular as a mainstay of sports stadiums after Bill Sperling introduced bratwurst to Major League Baseball in Milwaukee County Stadium in 1953. The bratwurst were such a hit, Sperling said, that Duke Snider of the Brooklyn Dodgers took a case back to New York. Currently Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the only baseball stadium that sells more bratwurst than hot dogs.

The distilled spirit-related holiday today is National Rum Day. Rum is an alcoholic beverage distilled from molasses (a byproduct of the sugarcane refining process) or from the juice of the sugar cane itself. The majority of the world’s rum production occurs in the Caribbean and Latin America, but it is also made in other countries including the United States.
This beverage has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as bumbo). Rum has also served as a popular medium of economic exchange, used to help fund enterprises such as slavery, organized crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution and Australia’s Rum Rebellion).
The precursors to rum date back to antiquity. Development of fermented drinks produced from sugarcane juice is believed to have first occurred either in ancient India or China, and spread from there. The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. After rum’s development in the Caribbean, the drink’s popularity spread to Colonial North America. To support the demand for the drink, the first rum distillery in the British colonies of North America was set up in 1664 on present-day Staten Island, New York. The manufacture of rum became early Colonial New England’s largest and most prosperous industry. New England became a distilling center due to the technical, metalworking and cooperage skills and abundant lumber; the rum produced there was lighter, more like whiskey. Rhode Island rum even joined gold as an accepted currency in Europe for a period of time.
Today, there are two common types of rum. Light rum is mild and sweet, and is often filtered after distillation to remove any color. It is generally used in mixed drinks. Dark rum is generally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels, giving it a much stronger flavor. It is usually sipped straight or “neat” like a fine whiskey. Less common varieties of rum include Gold Rums, Spiced Rums, Flavored Rums, Overproof Rums (such as Bacardi 151) and Premium Rums.

On this date in 1977, Elvis Presley was found comatose in his bathroom at his Graceland home in Memphis, TN. He was later pronounced dead at the Memphis Baptist Hospital. He was 42 years old.
Also on this date in history:
1777 – During the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bennington took place. New England’s minutemen routed the British regulars.
1812 – Detroit fell to Indian and British troops in the War of 1812.
1829 – The “Siamese twins,” Chang and Eng Bunker, arrived in Boston, MA. They had come to the Western world to be exhibited. They were 18 years old and joined at the waist.
1858 – A telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.
1861 – President Lincoln prohibited the Union states from trading with the states of the Confederacy.
1923 – Carnegie Steel Corporation put into place the eight-hour workday for its employees.
1937 – Harvard University became the first school to have graduate courses in traffic engineering and administration.
1954 – Sports Illustrated was published for the first time. It was claimed that 250,000 subscriptions had been sold before the first issue came off of the presses.
1960 – The free-fall world record was set by Joseph Kittinger. He fell more than 16 miles (about 84,000 feet) before opening his parachute over New Mexico.
1984 – The U.S. Jaycees voted to admit women to full membership in the organization.
And, in 1995 – Voters in Bermuda rejected independence from Great Britain.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of distinguished people.
Amos Alonzo Stagg 1862 – Football pioneer.
Bernard McFadden 1868 – Bodybuilder.
George Meany 1894 – Union organizer.
Mae Clarke 1910 – Actress.
Menachem Begin 1913 – Former Israeli Prime Minister.
Shimon Peres 1923 – Former Israeli Prime Minister.
Fess Parker 1925 – Actor.
Ann Blyth 1928 – Actress.
Lois Nettleton 1929 – Actress.
Robert Culp 1930 – Actor.
Frank Gifford 1930 – Football player.
Eydie Gorme 1932 – Singer.
Julie Newmar 1933 – Actress.
Anita Gillette 1936 – Actress.
Bob Balaban 1945 – Actor.
Suzanne Farrell 1945 – Ballerina.
Lesley Ann Warren 1946 – Actress.
Kathie Lee Gifford 1953 – Television Personality.
James Cameron 1954 – Director.
Angela Bassett 1958 – Actress.
Madonna Louise Ciccone 1958 – Singer.
Belinda Carlisle 1958 – Singer.
Laura Innes 1959 – Actress.
Timothy Hutton 1960 – Actor.
Donovan Leitch, Jr. 1968 – Actor.
Emily Robinson 1972 – Singer.
And finally, Vanessa Carlton 1980 – Singer, songwriter.

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